The Guru

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Ngawang Drolma
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The Guru

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:56 pm

The actual method of cultivating the correct attitudes towards the spiritual master is to practice contemplative meditation upon the guru's good qualities and the beneficial effects that he or she introduces into one's life. By reflecting again and again on the great kindness the guru performs, a confidence suitable for spiritual training under him or her is born. This process of reflecting on the role of the guru is important in the beginning as well as in the higher practices, for as we sit in contemplation we become faced with a stream of reactions, which if understood at an early stage can clear the mind of much doubt, confusion and superstition.

The spiritual master is the source of all spiritual progress. In this context, Geshe Potowa once said, "If even those who want to learn a common worldly trade must study under a qualified teacher, how much more so must we who seek enlightenment? Most of us have come from the lower realms and have no background or experience in the paths and stages to enlightenment; and, if we wish to gain this experience, why should we not study with someone qualified to teach us the methods that develop it?"

In the beginning of his Great Exposition, Lama Tsongkhapa writes, "The root of spiritual development is to cultivate an effective relationship with a master." This means that we must cultivate the correct attitudes and then demonstrate them correctly in action. This is the root that, if made strong, supports the trunk, branches, leaves and flowers of practice. When the roots of a tree are strong, the entire tree becomes strong, whereas when the roots are weak, the entire tree will remain weak.

...We should engender respect such that we see the guru as a Buddha. If we can do this, then we experience the guru as we would a Buddha and consequently are sufficiently inspired to practice what he or she teaches. The instruction to see the guru as a Buddha is not unreasonable, for in many ways the spiritual master is Buddha himself.

--from The Path to Enlightenment

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sukhamanveti
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Re: The Guru

Postby sukhamanveti » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:49 pm

Great post, ND!


"One who abides in the lineage of the Mahayana
Has relied on an excellent teacher."
Atisha, Hrdaya-niksepa-nama


Trying to do it all on your own without any guidance from an expert is like trying to teach yourself heart surgery.


I should mention that His Holiness gives three pages of excellent advice in Healing Anger about investigating a potential guru and when it is necessary to disagree with the guru. (In my copy it's on pp. 83-85.) He gives similar advice in a transcript of a Q&A session at the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center about reliance on the lama. He briefly discusses qualifications of a tantric master in The World of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness often teaches that caution is crucial when seeking a guru and that, until you know the teacher well, treat him/her as a spiritual friend. (I'm sure you know all of this, but I think it is worth repeating for visitors and those curious about Tibetan Buddhism.)
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra

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Grigoris
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Re: The Guru

Postby Grigoris » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:03 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

plwk
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Re: The Guru

Postby plwk » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:02 pm


Ngawang Drolma
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Re: The Guru

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:12 pm

:good:

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ground
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Re: The Guru

Postby ground » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:12 am


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ground
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Re: The Guru

Postby ground » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:22 am

"The Conqueror Shakyamuni Buddha is sitting in the heart of the Foremost Teacher. The Conqueror Vajradhara is sitting in the heart of Shakyamuni Buddha."


Kind regards


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